New Norfolk skipper George Walker admits being appointed county captain has set the seal on a perfect end to the summer.
Left-arm spinner Walker, 26, was vice-captain of the Swardeston side which triumphed at the Rose Bowl last month in the Cockspur Club Twenty20. He has now agreed to take over the county reins from Carl Rogers, who stepped down at the end of last season and Walker said: “It’s been a very good couple of weeks and all the lads were overjoyed to win a national tournament.
“I’m delighted to be taking over as Norfolk captain, it’s a big honour. I had a taste of it last year when Carl was injured, but to be doing it for the full season with your name there as captain is very exciting.”
Walker, who has played seven First Class matches for Leicestershire, made his Norfolk debut in 2000 and captained the county for all three Horsford Festival games last summer when Rogers was out injured. He took 26 wickets for Norfolk this summer, following an exceptional 2009 campaign which included match figures of 16 for 96 in the victory over Cambridgeshire.
Norfolk finished seventh in the Minor Counties Championship this year and failed to qualify from their group in the MCCA Knockout Trophy, but Walker believes those disappointing statistics do not tell the whole story – and that the county have reasons to be optimistic next year: “On the bare form of results it was a reasonably disappointing summer,” he said. “But if we could have performed slightly better in a couple of sessions it might have been very different and we would be talking about a decent year.
“We’re going to have an equally strong squad next year, if not even stronger because we have a few more names to go into the hat. ”
“Ben Patston will be back from playing rugby in New Zealand and then we have young players like Peter Lambert, who showed what he can do in front of the Sky TV cameras at the Rose Bowl. I think we’ve got a lot to look forward to.”
Walker said that no decision had been made yet about appointing a vice-captain.
Norfolk chairman Graham Littlewood confirmed that the county had considered two other candidates, current player-coach Chris Brown, who captains Horsford, and Great Witchingham skipper James Spelman, but opted for Walker, despite the fact that he is not captain of his club side: “We felt that with experienced players like Chris Brown, Trevor Ward and Carl Rogers still in the side to help him, this was the right time,” he said.
Littlewood added: “We view it as a long term appointment. “George will become a member of the committee and we’ll be looking to him to communicate what is happening to the players.
“He’s played county cricket as well as being part of the Swardeston team who won the Cockspur Club Twenty20 last month, so he has lots of experience of senior cricket.” Norfolk have also drafted two new faces onto their committee.
Richard Wright takes over from Littlewood as the sponsorship and promotions manager, while Ian Clarke of Saffron Marketing is the new marketing and communications officer. Littlewood added: “Both appointments are aimed at raising the profile of the club and trying to increase the membership.”
Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press